Inner Urban Garden

The local council’s email informs us that
‘All soil is presumed to be contaminated’ but
the pocket garden planted between the townhouses
is wild with dinner plate leaves of pumpkin
And crinkled mint that releases cool scent
when the wind blows hard.

Garbage is now buried, not burnt
our eating habits hidden on the outskirts
of this urban/suburban behemoth.
Many bath-roomed mansions loom where
filth spewing factories once discharged into harbour waters.

Their legacy is lead.

The rosemary is ignorant of chemical to soil ratios
and grows chin height dark and woody
while the tomato vine flings itself casually across the
rectangular bed, nuzzling into glossy basil.

I take the monthly offering with smiling thanks and
leave it on my kitchen bench for several days before
throwing it in the sweaty compost bin
where its fetid contents will be tossed onto the garden
and turned, buried and watered
to help new seedlings grow.

back to issue